General Discussion Race Reports! » Marine Corps Marathon Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Marine Corps Marathon - RunMarathon

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Arlington, Virginia
United States
55F / 13C
Total Time = 3h 53m 29s
Overall Rank = 3619/20936
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 2857/12656
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 5am, ate a bagel with some peanut butter, drank some juice, grabbed my gear and headed to the metro.
Event warmup:

Walked from the Pentagon metro stop, took about 15 minutes to get to the bag drop area.
  • 3h 53m 29s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 55s  min/mile

This was my first marathon, so I set my time expectations low. I was following the Hal Higdon beginner marathon plan, but had some triathlons mixed during my training over the summer so it made it difficult to get more than 4 runs in per week. One failure that I had was never getting in the 20 mile run, I got a 19 miler in the last week of September but life got in the way and hadn't done a long run since then. I did the Army 10 miler a few weeks ago, but I still don't think I did enough volume during the last 4 weeks.

Race started out great, started in the 3:30 - 3:59 corral so I figured I'd be right with the group that I wanted to be in. Eased in very slowly, kept my mileage about 8:15 - 8:45 / mile the first 10k because I knew I had to conserve, especially for the hills. When we hit the final hill in Georgetown I thought to myself "seriously? that's it? fantastic" and kept plugging away. Hit the halfway point @ 1:49, so I figured with a little tapering off later in the race, I'd be looking at a 3:45 - 3:55 depending on what happened later.

Nearing the end of Haines Point I noticed that my pinky toes were starting to bother me slightly. I do something weird with my foot/stride and on my long runs those toes always build up huge calluses. It never got worse, just annoyed me more than anything. When I hit about mile 18, the wheels started to fall off. I was averaging about 25 - 26 minutes per 10k up until that point, but I fell way off after that.

I made the mistake of not testing the Powerade on the course with the Clif Shot Bloks I had trained with. I assumed they'd work fine considering they were included in with the race packets, but apparently not. I started to get nauseous around mile 22 and had to run/walk until about mile 25.5, but ran the final .7 in. It was a struggle through Crystal City but the breeze felt nice. When I hit the home stretch, I could hear the crowd, the announcer, and all of my pain dissipated. I saw the last hill to the finish line and pushed as hard as I could as the announcer was getting the crowd fired up for the four hour mark. I looked at the clock, it said 3:59:35 and I made one last sprint for the finish line, crossed clock time @ 3:59:43.

As I was walking through the chute, I was starting to get nauseous again. Legs were aching, everyone was walking like zombies. All I wanted to do was get out of the mass. I got up to the finishers medal line and the lady right in front of me gave the Marine probably a 10 second hug and it got me a little choked up. I forget how important these men and women are to our country, the price they pay for our freedom, and when you're right up close it brings back a lot of emotion for me. My father is a retired Navy pilot, my father-in-law is a retired Colonel in the Air Force, so I can only begin to understand what they went through and what these men went through. The Marine put the medal around my neck, and with one tear streaming down my cheek I somehow muttered "Thank you for your service, sir." He shook my hand and thanked me, and I moved on through the crowd.

What would you do differently?:

Get more higher mileage in. I think I could handle Higdon's intermediate plan, the beginner plan wasn't all that tough if I just focused on running.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked about 50 feet, sat down for a couple minutes, got up, walked another 50 feet, sat down again. My nausea was coming in waves, but sitting down helped tremendously. I know its probably the worst thing I could do at that point, but its all I could do to prevent the hurling. With so many people around, there wasn't an easy boot-point, so I did what I could to keep it off.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nausea. If I can figure out a good formula, I'd be in better shape. Who knows, it could have been lack of fitness since I was only on the beginner plan, but maybe next time I'll try something different.

Event comments:

Great race, awesome spectator support. I wish I could have run through Georgetown 15 times because the support there was absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend this race to anyone.

Last updated: 2009-06-01 12:00 AM
03:53:29 | 26.2 miles | 08m 55s  min/mile
Age Group: 2857/12656
Overall: 3619/20936
Performance: Good
Course: Up through Rossyln, down through Georgetown, across through Haines Point, down to the Capitol Building, through Crystal City and back home in Arlington.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-10-26 2:32 PM

User image

Extreme Veteran
Subject: Marine Corps Marathon

2009-10-26 2:55 PM
in reply to: #2480113

User image

Cycling Guru
Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
The trick with taking gels and food is to drink water with them or at the stop right after.  Then when you are not eating go for the powerade/gatorade drinks.  That is part of the reason I carry my own Gu in a gel flask.  I just take a hit off of it when I need to and keep going.

Great job on finishing your first and that is a really solid time!  Well done especially with the stomach issues!
2009-10-26 3:09 PM
in reply to: #2480113

Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

Great job for your first marathon!

General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Marine Corps Marathon Rss Feed